Ve­hi­cle boosts com­mu­ni­ca­tion

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS -

VOL­UN­TEER emer­gency ser­vices now have ac­cess to a ve­hi­cle with satel­lite equip­ment that pro­vides com­mu­ni­ca­tion in­de­pen­dent of es­tab­lished mo­bile net­works.

The Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Sup­port Ve­hi­cle (CSV) was pre­sented at the De­part­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices head­quar­ters in Cockburn on Thurs­day, July 27.

DFES act­ing deputy com­mis­sioner Gary Gif­ford said it would be sta­tioned at the DFES re­gional of­fice in Belmont for use in iso­lated ar­eas or where net­works were con­gested or not avail­able.

It also acts as a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot giv­ing other emer­gency ser­vices, in­clud­ing WA Po­lice, the abil­ity to ac­cess the internet in dead zones.

“There are many peo­ple in­volved in re­spond­ing to emer­gen­cies, both on the front­line and in sup­port roles, and be­ing able to share in­for­ma­tion be­tween them dur­ing emer­gen­cies is cru­cial in pro­tect­ing the com­mu­nity,” Mr Gif­ford said.

The ve­hi­cle has al­ready helped crews map fire be­hav­iour more quickly dur­ing a fire in the Up­per Swan.

The City of Armadale wel­comed the CSV.

“Dur­ing bush fire emer­gen­cies in the ru­ral/ur­ban in­ter­face (par­tic­u­larly in the Dar­ling Scarp com­mu­ni­ties), an is­sue of­ten arises in re­la­tion to pro­vid­ing timely and ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion to the com­mu­nity,” Armadale chief ex­ec­u­tive Ray Tame said.

“The role of mo­bile phone and internet con­nec­tion was high­lighted in the Kelmscott and Ro­ley­stone fire in­ci­dent when un­prece­dented calls, mainly from in­ter­state and over­seas, ‘crashed’ the net­work as news of the fire went out across the world.”

The ve­hi­cle in­cludes an in­ter­nal of­fice with two work­sta­tions and its own power, plus a video cam­era for real-time images.

The ve­hi­cle in ac­tion (above) and its in­te­rior (be­low).

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